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The Great British bank bill arrives

Via the well-briefed Mr Robert Peston of the BBC. It appears the Government and the banks believe the national taxpayer must insure the bad debt, or losses of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the Lloyds Banking Group (the latter, including Halifax Bank of Scotland HBOS). It seems this amount to be ‘guaranteed’ is estimated at £500bn – or, half of one trillion pounds.

The US Central Intelligence Agency publishes a World Fact Book and estimated UK GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, during 2008 as $2.27tr (Trillion). This converts to, approximately, £1.56tr (Trillion).

Of course, this new guarantee of £500bn, (or £0.50tr) has to be added to the money from government which has already been provided for the insolvent banks. Peston’s reported estimate of this total sum is about £1.5tr.

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